BizGuardian, which integrates with EMCs Retrospect backup and recovery software, is a 4U (7-inch) rack-mounted product with eight 500GB SATA (Serial ATA) disk drives, an LTO tape drive, a tape autoloader, a server, and a redundant power supply.
"So in this 4U form factor, you basically have 4TB of disk and 4TB of tape, along with a network connection and three power supply plugs in the back. That gives you a fully integrated product that embodies best practices when you turn it on in your networked environment," said Bob Schaefer, CEO of Breece Hill, in Louisville, Colo.
The most important consideration in developing the product, Schaefer said, was making sure it was as simple to operate and manage as possible.
"We kept hearing that data protection was too difficult at the SMB level," he said. "We wanted to create the simplest, easiest to own and easiest to manage backup and recovery appliance for the SMB."
BizGuardian addresses the simplicity issue by providing many automated processes, including network scans that can discover new hardware and back it up to disk.
In addition, the system creates AES (Advanced Encryption Standard)-encrypted tapes for off-site storage, improving disaster recovery plans for many smaller companies, he said.
The most important feature, however, is BizGuardians tight integration with backup software. Other products in this category, including those from Overland Storage and Hewlett-Packard, arent as tightly coupled, said Robert Amatruda, research manager for storage at IDC, of Framingham, Mass.
"Its ideal for a small company thats managing less than 4TB of data. Typically, a small company like that might have some elements of a product like this, but its usually piecemeal," he said. "BizGuardian would solve a number of issues from an integration standpoint and would allow them to approach disaster recovery more effectively."
By partnering with EMC, Breece Hill also has attempted to reinforce its standing in the crowded data protection space, Amatruda said.
"In a market like data protection thats so large, if you dont have brand or channel, it makes it difficult to penetrate a customer-built business," he said. "So the combination of working with EMC and making sure the product integrates well with EMCs Retrospect is critical for them."
As the first major announcement from a newly focused Breece Hill, BizGuardian is particularly important for the company, Amatruda said. "Its a really critical product at a really critical time for them," he said.
To continue its quest to become a leader in the SMB data protection market, Breece Hill plans to introduce related products, Schaefer said, including CDP (continuous data protection) and VTL (virtual tape appliances).